For older adults to get the most out of their lives and make the most of their assets, they should consider creating an estate plan for financial and medical matters. Estate planning involves understanding what will happen to your assets after you pass away. This plan can also help protect your family from disputes and give them peace of mind knowing that your final wishes are in place. This article reviews the top estate planning tips older adults should use.
Make a Will
One of the best estate planning tips for older adults is to have a will. A will allows you to leave your assets as you see fit and take care of loved ones in the way you always wanted to. Although the process of creating a will does not take long, most people put it off till the last minute because they don’t want to think about dying. The problem with procrastinating is that once an untimely death has occurred, it is difficult or even impossible to make a will. However, even if you are in your 90s or older, creating a will is still very important. If a loved one dies before you and your family cannot settle the estate because of legal issues or missing documents (such as a will), your assets may go to the government.
Write Down Health Care Directives
If you can’t write a will on your own, consider hiring an attorney to do it for you. You may also want to think about writing down health care directives that designate what medical treatments you would want to receive if you can no longer make your own decisions. If a person does not have these documents in place and is nearing the end of their life, it can jeopardize the care they receive. In addition, if a loved one doesn’t know what you would want, or if there is any dispute within your family about it, then your wishes may not be carried out as quickly or accurately as possible.
Consider a Living Trust
A living trust gives you complete control over your assets, even if you pass away. It is a legal document through which you grant property ownership to others. If you are in good health and want to ensure that your family receives all your assets when you die, consider creating a living trust. The main benefit of a living trust is that it can protect your family from future disputes by giving them specific instructions on handling your estate.
Establish a Medical Power of Attorney
A medical power of attorney is a document you can use to appoint someone to make decisions for you if you can no longer do so. For example, suppose you choose not to have a will. In that case, medical power of attorney may enable you to designate someone with authority over your health care decisions if you become incapacitated.
The Bottom Line
There are many ways to take care of your assets and make them available for your family even when you pass away. Estate planning shouldn’t be hard to do, and it can help ensure that your family is protected. So, take the time to think about what you want and ensure that it is set in stone before the end of your life. Reach out to our seasoned professionals for a case evaluation to see how we can help your estate plan.